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ing love, and in this love, of the things which make for our peace, our eternal peace, we obtain what nothing earthly gives or takes away; we obtain the soul's calm sunshine, and we possess genuine heart-felt joy.
Remember me to all who love our Lord Jesus; I hope you and yours, are in the enjoyment of health.
Adieu, my friend;
I am as usual,
Delivered by request, to the brethren of St. John's Lodge.
W HEN we hear an illustrious brother declare, that we have need to be often reminded of what we so well knew before, an apology upon the present occasion, respecting the subject, may be deemed unnecessary; and when I add, that honoured by your choice and pressing invitation, I stand up as a monitor, to stir up your pure minds to a sense of the importance of our theme, of its magnitude, and exhaustless worth, however incompetent I may be, to an undertaking so arduous; although many of my honoured brethren, in whose presence I now stand, are abundantly better qualified to discharge this trust with honour to themselves, and advantage to the fraternity; yet I will not so far betray a want of respect to that judgment, to which I am indebted for my election, as to fatigue you with those pleas of inability, which candour may characterize as superfluous.
Ye know your calling brethren; your calling is an holy calling; ye are children of the light, of that true light, which shall ultimately illumine every man that cometh into the world. You were sometimes darkness, when you had your conversation according to the course of this world, and possibly you may have joined with those, who are in the habit of speaking evil of things they could not understand. But the secret of the Lord, which hath never yet been manifested to the great mass of mankind; the mysteries which, to the
world in general, are yet unknown, and which, no individual in the world can know, until he is brought into the light, which can alone manifest what the darkness conceals. With this secret, and these mysteries, you are made acquainted; and I have confidence, that your institution will add lustre to an order ever ennobled by virtue.
Your monitor stands not up to teach; you are not now to be taught the first principles of your craft. But I am appointed to provoke, and you are assembled together for the purpose of provoking one another to love, and to its genuine effects; to that love, which invariably issueth in good works.
It was for this purpose, that our transcendently august Master called us out of darkness, into his marvellous light, that we may let our light shine before men by love, and the labours of love. But who can love what does not appear lovely? And who that hath not love, can perform the labours of love?
We are, however, called upon, after giving the best affections of our hearts to the supreme Architect of all worlds, to love our brethren, brethren who are collected by infinite wisdom, and connected by the strong cement of infinite love. These brethren, we are to love as ourselves; and we are commanded to love our species in general, whether friends or enemies, with a love of pity and compassion; nor are we destitute of the strongest incentives thus to do. Our supreme Head, the adorable Redeemer, though descending among us tabernacled in clay, has, nevertheless, so far made himself known unto us, that we can behold him with filial reverence, as the perfection of wisdom, power, and love. His wisdom stands conspicuous in his plans; his love, in the beneficent designs, manifested in all his gracious plans; and his power, in the execution thereof.
- He who built all things is God; and for his pleasure, the things that are made, were formed. Ye free, ye accepted masons, ye are called out of darkness into light, that ye may alternately labour and rest; ye have your origin from your illustrious, your transcendently illustrious, and right-worshipful grand Master, who was before all things, and by whom all things consist. The model of his plans were formed in his own eternal mind; and in his comprehension, all worlds from eternity existed. He formed materials; he commanded, "Let there be light, and there was light." When he had brought order out of Chaos, and reduced tumult to peace, he raised from the dust the figure of himself, and fearfully and wonderfully
was this figure constructed. In this house, this earthly tabernacle, the living soul, which living soul is the breath of the supreme Architect of the omnipotent God, in this earthly tenement, this soul dwelleth; and while dwelling therein, performeth wonders, not to be performed by inferior agents.
Under the forming hand of this representative, of the Creator of all things, the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and blossometh as the rose. Under the directing influence of the Architect of all worlds, Lodges were formed for his glory, and for the benefit of associated brethren. But these Lodges were not formed by loiterers, but labourers; labourers who were inspired by the spirit of their Master, to work by rule and order.
Attempts were made upon the plains of Shinar,to establish a name, by the extent and the loftiness of their building; but the builders there employed, were not acquainted with the outward and visible signs; they had not the word, they entered not in by the door, they were not illumined by the true light, they were not sufficiently instructed in the use of the compass, the square, and the level; they did not lay their plans within the first, nor rise in their labours on the second, nor proceed according to the third. Hence, when the glorious Architect vouchsafed to descend, and take a view of their works, confusion was the motto, which infinite Wisdom thought proper to stamp upon their unfinished labours.
But let us turn with admiration to an association of superior builders; of builders who exhibit a perfect contrast, to the builders on the plain of Shinar. Their fabric is reared under the direction of a master builder, a builder who had been iudulged with a private interview with the supreme Architect himself; which almighty Architect, communicated to him his own plans, directing him to proceed in his own way, on which plans, and in which way, unfashioned materials were formed, and an infinite variety were collected. Order presided amongst the labourers, the foundation being laid in the presence of the grand Master, without the noise of the ponderous hammer, or the cleaving axe. In due proportions the building rose, uniting, as it advanced, the two grand requisites, strength and beauty, until, as a complete whole, it exhibited to all succeeding generations, a model of that perfection, of which the arts are susceptible.
Here, then, we behold heaven and earth united. The glory of the Lord coming from the east, his train filled the temple; and when
the grand Master had finished his work, and the supreme Architect condescended to visit him. Such was the approbation discovered for the builder and the building, that he said, "I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever, and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually."
Thus his gracious providence, and tender affection, was manifested there, and will be manifested there for ever.
Masons, of your description, have the privilege of looking beyond the things which are seen, and felt, by mere operative masons. The supreme Architect hath entrusted to you, the hieroglyphical art; you can see, in this magnificent temple, what the world cannot see; and from such views as are discovered by your mental eye, your hearts must be affected: for do you not discern the love of your one glorious Head and Master, in heaven; and do you not hear him saying, love one another?
The divinely instructed Brother, whose name and whose excellence we this day commemorate, is styled, by way of eminence, the beloved disciple. Not that he was beloved by the great Head, who is no respecter of persons, more than the other disciples; but we know no individual among his brethren, who loved the great Master and his fellow servants, more than did John, the Evangelist, or who laboured more to cultivate this divine principle among the children of his Father. We are informed, that when he drew near the period of mortality, he delivered to his hearers, from the abundance of his affectionate heart, the best discourse he ever delivered; and yet his lecture, it seems, contained no more than "little children, love one another;" and again, "little children, love one another;" and a third time, " little children, love one another." Love was the exordium, the continuation, and the close.
are thoughts of
God is love. Love is negative and positive. Love thinketh no evil, it worketh no evil. The thoughts of love peace the works of love are works of mercy. Can we then be hold our supreme Head, thus manifested by his works, and in his words, without feeling the best affections of our soul flowing toward him? Is he not, in the estimation of every true brother, when thus beheld, "altogether lovely ?"
Let love, said an illustrious brother, be without dissimulation. Be kindly affectionate one to another, with brotherly love in honour preferring one another.
By this, saith our right worshipful grand Master, who, as a greater than Solomon, presides in our Lodge. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one toward another. And this I pray, said another distinguished brother, that your love may abound. As touching brotherly love, said the same celebrated character, ye need not that I write unto you: and as touching brotherly love, your monitor need not to speak unto you.
It is, with Masonic brethren, a fixed principle to love one another, and that with pure hearts, fervently. But although it may not be necessary to enforce this principle of love, yet it may not be unreasonable, for the sake of love, to beseech you to let brotherly love continue manifesting it unfeignedly to the brethren in general, to the necessitous directly and immediately, in particular, and not in words of pity only, but in words of mercy, in giving and forgiving, and in kind and affectionate entertainment of strangers.
The immortal brother, whose festival we this day celebrate, calls upon us to behold what manner of love the Father hath, and presents this love of the Father, as a model for his children. If, said he, the Father hath so loved you, ought we not to love one another? But the love the Father had for us, was prior to our love for him. We love him, said our brother Paul, because he first loved us. It requires not an acquaintance with your art to love where you are , beloved; any Publican can love the person by whom he is beloved. It belongeth unto you, brethren, who are children of the light, and therefore know the love of God, and who cannot but remember the words of the grand Master of the Israelitish Lodges, when he assured the brethren, that God did not set his love upon them, because of their number, but because, saith he, the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your Fathers. It was, therefore, the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you. It belongeth unto you, I say, to distinguish prop erly, and impute the love of the God, who made you, to its genuine cause.
The children of darkness have, in every age, been unacquainted with the principle and practice of love, and with its foundation by the transcendently glorious Architect of all worlds. Among the brethren of the ancient and honourable order to which you belong, it is with inexpressible delight, that we trace back to the beginning of time, the dawning of this ennobling, this animating principle, and with augmenting rapture, we behold it like the path of the